OPINION: Ivermectin Is A Wonder Drug, So Ignore The FDA’s Disinformation Campaign


In what felt like an act of desperation, the FDA last week issued a new line for their devotees across the nation, by mocking millions of Americans on social media. (ICYMI: Likely some Gen-Z’er who runs the FDA’s social media accounts posted a picture of a horse, with the caption, “You are not a horse. Stop it with the #Ivermectin. It’s not authorized for treating #COVID.”)

The takeaway: If you support taking Ivermectin to treat Covid, you are a lunatic who wants to take a dangerous drug only fit for horses. Now, take it and run with it, all ye loyal disciples!

Predictably, hordes of parrots flocked to social media to regurgitate these new talking points handed down from their favorite feeder. Suddenly anyone who talks positively about Ivermectin is mocked and compared to livestock.

The scoffers know little, other than what they’re told by the news outlets they trust, passing along today’s two-minutes hate, courtesy of the federal agencies they adore. All they know: it’s time to hate Ivermectin, which they’re told is some medicine used to treat horses that have worms. That’s enough for a Facebook comment.

Interestingly, ironically, and of course, Ivermectin is not primarily a veterinary drug. Sure, it’s used on some animals — just like plenty of other pharmaceuticals — but it’s actually approved by the FDA for human use. What, they didn’t bother putting that in their Twitter post? They probably just ran out of characters…

Up until 2020, Ivermectin was a wonderfully uncontroversial drug: one that was busy saving lives and curing debilitating illnesses every year, arguably changing the trajectory of the developing world.

Ivermectin is safe, effective, and—bonus!—quite inexpensive. Nobel-prize winning biochemist Satoshi Ōmura in 2011 even called it a “Wonder Drug,” comparing it to drugs like penicillin and aspirin. Ōmura helped discover, develop, and promote Ivermectin’s use among the developing world, and he won the Nobel Prize for it in 2015.

“But ivermectin can also be considered alongside those worthy contenders [penicillin and aspirin],” he writes in this article, “based on its versatility, safety and the beneficial impact that it has had, and continues to have, worldwide—especially on hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people.”

Whoopsies. Cue the FDA aneurism.

Here are a few key quotes from Ōmura’s article — quotes which are utterly amazing when contrasted with the FDA’s fearmongering and mockery campaign over the past week. (Emphasis mine)

“Ivermectin has continually proved to be astonishingly safe for human use. Indeed, it is such a safe drug, with minimal side effects, that it can be administered by non-medical staff and even illiterate individuals in remote rural communities, provided that they have had some very basic, appropriate training.”

“Ivermectin proved to be virtually purpose-built to combat Onchocerciasis, which has two main manifestations, dermal damage resulting from microfilariae in the skin and ocular damage arising from microfilariae in the eye.” (Note: Onchocerciasis has ravaged the developing world, in tropical areas, and causes rampant blindness. Ivermectin has prevented countless people from going blind.)

“In reality, the renewed interest in fighting tropical diseases, including the involvement of the pharmaceutical industry, which has become increasingly evident over the past three decades, and which has saved lives and improved the welfare of billions of people, notably the poor and disadvantaged in the topics, can be traced back to the 1987 introduction of ivermectin for use in humans.”

It’s true that the FDA has not approved Ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19. What’s not true is the FDA’s sly and insidious implication, in their recent social media blitz, that Ivermectin is just a drug used for horses and cows that have worms, and you’re a kook if you use it as a human. That’s deceptive, and it’s dangerous, as it stigmatizes a drug that has changed the world.

But drugs are prescribed and used off-label, all the time. If a person (vaccinated or unvaccinated) who has Covid wants to try a proven-safe and FDA-approved drug like Ivermectin, that’s none of the FDA’s business. It’s the doctor and patient’s prerogative. And it’s actually part of the process of experimentation with hypotheses and measuring outcomes. Some people call that science. 

Science has no interest in bureaucracies (and the feeling is mutual). In fact, Ivermectin was used for years to treat Lymphatic filariasis, resulting in incredible patient outcomes, long before it ever received official government stamps of approval. Meanwhile, lives were saved and changed forever, and those remarkable outcomes would help win Ōmura the Nobel Prize in 2015. Thank goodness he didn’t wait for the blessing of every bureaucratic vulture; the people whose lives were saved are probably thankful too.

So, argue the merits of using Ivermectin to treat Covid. But don’t talk like the drug isn’t safe for human use — that’s just ignorant, and false, even though Facebook probably won’t fact-check you for saying it.

And before you start throwing Ivermectin into the slop bucket, take a quick peek at:

this study, (“Conclusion: Combination of Ivermectin and doxycycline was found to be very effective in viral clearance in mild and moderately sick COVID-19 patients.”)

and this study, (“Conclusion: The Ivermectin-Doxycycline combination showed a trend toward superiority to the Hydroxychloroquine-Azithromycin combination therapy in the case of patients with mild to moderate COVID19 disease…”)

and this study. (“Conclusion: According to the findings obtained, ivermectin can provide an increase in clinical recovery, improvement in prognostic laboratory parameters and a decrease in mortality rates even when used in patients with severe COVID-19. Consequently, ivermectin should be considered as an important alternative to the treatment of COVID-19 disease or as an additional option to existing protocols.”)

And then review some more of the case studies that indicate Ivermectin really might help. Here’s a whole bunch of them.

Then, sure, go for it. Have a robust debate. Good times. But in that debate, if you find yourself parroting a social media post from a federal bureaucracy, ask yourself who’s really starting to act like an animal.

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